Session and Recall Election; National Migration Week

Insights Newsletter

Big Week in the Golden State

With the Legislative Session officially ending last Friday night and the Recall Election this past Tuesday, there has been a flurry of political activity this last week. 

Voters handily rejected the recall of Gov. Newsom Tuesday, by nearly a two to one margin. Newsom portraited his win as "evidence that voters back his COVID-19 approach." He will now focus on the 694 bills that sit on his desk awaiting his signature or veto by Oct. 10, then on to his 2022 re-election campaign.

Before the recall, lawmakers uneventfully ended the session for the year without heated debates or political maneuvering characteristic of years past. The quiet was likely because of the looming recall election. Before they adjourned, the Senate did pass SB 380, the physician-assisted suicide bill that has now been sent to the Governor.

Please stay tuned for alerts on SB 380, SB 62, and other news as the Governor signs or vetoes bills during the coming weeks.  


National Migration Week and World Day of Migrants

National Migration Week will be celebrated Sept. 20-26 this year, culminating with the Vatican's World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sunday, the 26th.

The overarching theme for this year's WDMR is "Towards an ever wider 'WE'." In his letter announcing this year's theme, Pope Francis emphasized that "this focus calls on us to ensure that 'after all this, we will think no longer in terms of 'them' and 'those,' but only 'us" (Fratelli tutti, no. 35).

The California Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement (en Español) to mark World Day of Migrants and Refugees. 

"The immigrants, migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers turning to our country for relief from their distress should only serve to strengthen our commitment to be good Samaritans," the Bishops wrote. "Indeed, we continue to advocate for a just and humane immigration reform, as we have for decades.  In particular, the plight of young immigrant people who are Dreamers, of refugees still living under Temporary Protective Status, and of immigrants laboring as "essential workers" must no longer be ignored by Congress.  Most especially, the United States at this time must come to the rescue of Afghans who served alongside our soldiers in that troubled region.  This is a moral imperative of the highest order and from which we cannot excuse ourselves.

In Southern California, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Diocese of San Diego, the Diocese of Orange, and the Diocese of San Bernardino are planning a joint Mass dedicated to migrants on Sept. 19. The Diocese of San Bernardino is also releasing its We Are Home Project, a series of interviews with immigrants and the children of immigrants, detailing their immigration story and how they found a home within the church of San Bernardino. One video will be released per week over the next month, and you can find the first episode here.

In Northern California, the Archdiocese of San Francisco will offer an informative webinar discussing Church teaching, current policy issues, and how these are playing out at the border. Register here. The Diocese of San Jose will hold a Mass in solidarity with migrants and refugees at Holy Cross Church on Sept. 26. Check with your local diocese for more information on events in your area.  


Archbishops Defend St. Serra Against 'Outrageous' Claims

In an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal last week, Archbishops Cordileone and Gomez came to the defense of St. Junipero Serra, founder of California's mission system, against lawmakers' attempts to permanently remove his statue of the State Capitol and disparage his name in the process.

Senate Bill 388, which would replace St. Serra's statue with one representing Native Americans, cleared both houses and now awaits Governor Newsom's signature.

While the Archbishops support the creation of a Native monument which is long "overdue", the Archbishops dispute the Legislature's "slandering [Serra's] name and pushing a false narrative about the mission period in California."

The bill's “forward” claims that Serra was responsible for enslavement, mutilation, genocide, and assaults on Native peoples. During debate on the bill, even well-respected Hispanic lawmakers noted that the terms used to describe Serra are misconstrued and overblown.

"While there is much to criticize from this period, no serious historian has ever made such outrageous claims about Serra or the mission system," the Archbishops wrote.

The Angelus News also published an editorial in response, calling for the truth and not revisionist history to be told about Serra. It also provided a list of historians and references that defend the friar, who was called "one of the founding fathers of the United States," by Pope Francis.


Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month began on Wednesday and will run through Friday, Oct. 15, to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. 

Roughly 55 percent of Latinos in the U.S. identify as Catholic. The USCCB has a webpage with social media posts and bulletin inserts celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.  The Catholic Healthcare Association also offers a suggested prayer for the inclusion and well-being of our Hispanic brothers and sisters.



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